Support Murray Edwards in the May Bumps

The Murray Edwards College Boat Club is once again ready to own the river in the annual May Bumps. A Cambridge tradition dating back to 1887, the May Bumps is THE boating event of the Easter term, attracting hundreds of spectators each day to watch the colleges kick off on the water. After a strong showing at the Champs Head race in late May, MECBC is set to have a terrific run in the Bumps this year (knock carbon-fibre reinforced plastic), with at least two very competitive boats going after blades next week. Our third boat is racing this Friday at 17:30 to qualify for a spot, so come to the river to cheer them on! Then next week, from Wednesday 15 June to Saturday 18 June, come jump and shout for all our hard-working boaties as they give their best effort faces in search of foliage-covered Bumps glory.

W1 is racing in the women's second division, and W2 is racing in the women's fourth division. However, W2 will likely have the opportunity to bump up into the third division next Friday. We'll keep you posted. Should W3 qualify, they will also be racing in the women's fourth division.

Division times are as follows:

Wednesday to Friday

Fourth division (W2 and possibly W3) – 14:30
Second division (W1) – 17:30


Fourth division (W3) – 12:30
Third division (W2 probably) – 14:00
Second division (W1) – 15:30

There are lots of places from which to watch the Bumps. The Plough pub is a popular option, as is Fen Ditton, or any point along the towpath on the north side of the river. For more information on where to go (and restrictions on where you can go), check out the CUCBC website:

We need your support! Whether you come out for all four days or just one, just knowing there are friends in the crowd makes a big difference to those in the boat.

Hope to see you all there!

Boatie love,
The Murray Edwards College Boat Club

Facebook event
Facebook event for Bumps Breakfast

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W1 Champs Head 2011

Last week W1 raced in the Champs Head, a race for all crews to get an idea of where they stand for May Bumps as they draw closer.
Despite appallingly windy conditions, the crew held together really well, coming second in the Mays W2 division and fourth overall out of all college women’s crews: a terrific performance for a crew containing three ex-novices! These results shows how our hard work has paid off, and that we are set to do really well come May Bumps.

W2 Champs Head 2011

Our hearts sank as we arrived at the boathouse to be met by hurricane conditions. However, we W2 girls are made of sterner stuff and were resolved to fight back against the blustering wind, power through the stroke, and just generally row really good and all that.

Despite the wind, the row down the river to marshal was uneventful, and our spirits were lifted by the abundance of liquorice allsorts, courtesy of Eve, which got us through the seemingly endless wait under the motorway bridge. After this wait, we proceeded to the start line.

Then we were off! After a strong start, we raced around the corner only to be met with a wall of wind! However, we were prepared and the power remained strong (both epically and manly so). We battled on gallantly down the reach, I crying out calls from my carefully prepared race plan- which to my immense delight, did not blow away straight into stroke’s faces [Ying: it was a head wind, would have blown off the other way!]. A few (painful) minutes later and the finish line was in sight (which I observantly informed the crew of). Spurred on by this knowledge, we made a final sprint to the end, finishing completely exhausted, but with an intact boat and no crabs caught. And to add to that, a generally solid performance from everyone all round. We returned with heads held high and ready for some more action. Bring on bumps!

–report by Chloe Wallis (cox) and Eleanor Dickinson (stroke)

Result: winner of W4 division, beating 8 W1 crews and 11 men's crews overall, time 6:38

taken and made by Eve Bonner

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Head to Head 2011

At the start of May W1 competed in the Head to Head, which involves rowing two legs of 2k (spinning in between). This race was a chance for us to see how much we had developed as a crew, having had a big reshuffle after the Easter Vacation. Overall we did quite well, beating a few other W1 crews such as King’s and First and Third. Most importantly, however, we showed that after only a few outings together we have a solid basis to build up on as we continue training this term.

Featured in The Cambridge Student, Lent Issue 8, 2011

Just a quick post to point you all in the direction of The Cambridge Student, Lent Issue 8 Page 31:

“Murray Edwards’s blades sent them up to third in the second division, and moved their first boat just clear of the top second division boat, Emmanuel W2.”


Also on the same page, check out the fantastic article by our very own Eleanor Dickinson. It’s been reproduced for the website with kind permission from Eleanor herself and TCS in a separate post on the website (Diary of the Bumped) so you can read it even without opening the paper!

Happy reading!


Diary of the Bumped

Eleanor Dickinson

Murray Edwards W2

Day One

Harald, our beloved boat and great source of giggly innuendo is an old hand at this; we’re ready at front stops and poised for carnage. Five seconds and a louder-than-expected bang later, we’re off and widening the gap. Everything is going fantastically until disaster strikes as five’s gate springs open. All is lost, though our pursuer takes their time bumping our stricken boat. Now awkwardly parked on the bank, our coach runs over and attempts to lift us off , only for our poor boat’s bow to come away in her hand. Some emergency gaffa tape later, Harald, broken and mutilated, is rowed home by a stoical stern four. RIP boat.

Day Two

With a written off boat and three subs, morale is low. Turning around yesterday’s disaster seems impossible. The replacement, a rotund novice boat – aptly named Winston – hardly inspires the crew with confidence. We are told that once he gets going, Winston is a tank ready to leave a trail of carnage and  destruction in his wake. Granted, Winston was a ‘tank’ but for all the wrong reasons – by the time we ‘get him going’, a jubilant Girton are already decorating themselves with a  fine array of greenery.

Day Three

We are almost bottom of the river. After a severe grilling from the coach and W1, the fighting spirit that got us through the getting on race seems to be returning. It‘s all going well: we’re a whistle ahead and our pursuers seem miles away. And then, continuing the pattern of the week, disaster strikes. Struck out of nowhere by a determined-not-to-be-at-the-bottom Fitz, our dreams of not taking their place are over.

Day Four

I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to the weir before. Bottom of the river doesn’t seem too bad though, with nobody to panic you into completely messing up. Can we enact revenge on Fitz? Er, no – Fitz bump  Lucy Cavendish, and in a strangely familiar twist of fate, Winston’s oil tanker turning-circle puts us back on the bank. A set of spoons await. Did we gain anything this week apart from some additions to the cutlery draw? Well, as cheesy as it sounds, I’m very proud of my crew. And W1 got blades which made the Bumps Dinner slightly less solemn. After all, at least there is an impressive and fitting tribute to the deceased Harald now circulating on Facebook.

As originally featured in TCS Lent 2011 Issue 8 (

Lent Bumps 2011: W1 blade again, W2 spoons :(

In conditions very different to last year’s Lent Bumps (last year, some of us were shivering under space blankets in the snow while marshalling at Chesteron), MECBC had TWO boats in this year’s Lent Bumps. For some of W1 and all of W2, it was their first ever bumps so everyone was buzzing in the build up to the week long event. We had friends and supporters cheering us on from the towpath and while listening to the coverage/following bumps on The Tab

W1 started Lent Bumps at the station in front of the cannon. 
For me, the first day was like this:
Mark – “[counting down] … 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…. “
Guy who sets off the cannon – “Cover your ears…”
*dazed, ringing ears, pain*
Me: “DRAW 1….”

The pain did subside, we all got back on it and it was all worth it when we bumped Jesus II. We came together and improved day after day – sitting taller, prouder amongst the other boats. For those of us that were in the W1 crew last Mays, the second day’s bumping of Sidney was sweet, with them having prevented us from blading then. There was some some fine, wonderfully sat, chunky paddling down to our station especially on Thursday prior to the LMBC bump. Perfect accompaniment to the glorious weather! However, we also enjoyed our fair share of hairy moments – incredibly choppy water prior to bumping Sidney at Grassy corner and “the hand in the water” and nearly letting Emma II get away on the final day come to mind! When the bump came, we definitely felt that we deserved it. The faces we all pulled, the panic we all felt at various points over the week was all worth it as we bumped them just outside the Plough in front of an applauding audience. And we went home to baked goods courtesy of parents and Reana – thank you so much, we thoroughly enjoyed them!

W2 started off well but the now-infamous mounting the bank resulting in the snapping of the bow and the death of Harald on the first day was a huge stroke of bad luck for our girls. Bomber (who was there with Peterhouse II) thankfully gaffer taped it back together so Stern 4 could row home (which some have since dubbed the “row of shame”) with Bow 4 walking on the towpath. The rest of bumps was rowed in wonderful Winston. With very few of the actual W2 crew available for the whole week, there was a lot of crew shuffling but everyone just got with it and really came together. They say though that good crews all go up 3 and luck gets you blades – a crew who breaks a boat on the first day must be one of the most unlucky crews. W2, keep up the good work – you must have caught the bug now!

I’ve forgotten just how exciting bumps is, we’re all driven quite literally by the thrill of the chase. I can’t wait for the Mays! We’ll definitely have two boats again so W1, let’s keep it up and get back to where we belong, W2, let’s bounce straight back and bump the crews in front hard.

A HUGE well done to everyone who took part and a special thank you to all you girls who subbed for the crews! I loved every second.


Results for Lent Bumps 2011:
W1 (+4)
Bumped: Jesus II, Sidney Sussex, LMBC II, Emma II

W2 (-4)
Bumped by: Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall II, Girton II, Fitz II and rowed over (as bottom of W3) 

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Lent Bumps 2011 Tuesday results

W1 up 1, W2 down 1

W1: Unnerving as it is to start next to the cannon and having only one bank party (who nearly forgot to get the pole to push us out as he was busy counting down), we had a fairly strong start, getting one whistle right away. From then it moved steadily up to two and three whistles, where we hit dirty water and became slightly scrappy, allowing Jesus II to hold us off for another ten strokes or so. Still, the inevitable came right after first post, where we bumped them. Row up and most of row back was fairly solid, so all bodes well for Thursday.

W2: Day of misfortunes!
 – lots of people needing subs
 – one of our subs dropped ill so we didn't have a crew until 10 mins before we had to marshal
 – luckily M4 had a rerow so we weren't too late. Lots of waiting around on the reach though.
 – while we were catching up on Tit Hall after the start, Peterhouse crashed into the bank ahead of them so Tit Hall bumped up
 – while we were pushing away from Lucy Cav, one of our blades came out of the gate.
 – Lucy Cav caught up just after we got our blade back in after the motorway bridge
 – while trying to park we mounted the bank
 – while we were trying to unmount Harald the bow snapped 🙁
 – GAH

Aftermath: Bomber taped up the bow and we rowed home with only stern 4.

 – row up was pretty decent
 – start was good
 – we were obviously faster than the boats either side of us
So, bring on Wednesday. It won't be in Harald, but we'll tank down Lucy Cav with Winston!

— Ying

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W2 – Lent 2011 Getting On Race

Despite a very long wait at the top of the river due to a barge taking a leisurely cruise up the race course, the race itself flew by. W2 had a smooth start, settled at 32, stayed above 30, and put in a good push till the end. Every girl is pushing hard, while individuals might have missed a stroke here or there, overall the crew has such a strong rhythm that it never really fell apart, making it look almost easy. With a large gap either side of us, we were not distracted by other boats, though it was obvious that we had pushed closer onto Magdalene ahead of us at the finish. Results are out: we got a place!! Bring on bumps.

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Pembroke Regatta

Pembroke Regatta – February 19th

On a day even Noah would have stayed inside, W1 rowed up to Chesterton bridge to marshal for Pembroke regatta. This is a side by side race between the top of the Long Reach and Peter’s Post by the P&E pub.

After a lucky start against Selwyn, where both crews crabbed simultaneously, we managed a 2 length lead by the end and moved on to round 2.

We rowed up to the start line against Corpus W1 a little more confident, and sure enough finished 2 lengths ahead.

Round 3 was against Emma W1. Ahead off the start (a fact their cox sounded quite shocked by), we kept with them along the length off the course. Each crew put in several big pushes, but it was only the last 10 strokes of the course which decided the outcome, and we came out a canvas behind. Amazing work considering they are 3 places from being head of the river this term.

An excellent way to start the 1 week countdown to bumps, and keep up the good work everyone!!

Eve Bonner
Captain of Boats

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